This is a list of the OPIRG-Toronto action groups for the September 2018-August 2019 term. Please contact them if you are interested in getting involved with the work they do, or contact us at opirg.toronto(at)gmail.com if you have any questions. [PLEASE NOTE WE ARE STILL IN THE PROCESS OF UPDATING THIS LIST]
$15 AND FAIRNESS UofT
BLACK RESEARCHERS INITIATIVE TO EMPOWER
Our mission is to offer undergraduate and graduate students in science and medicine streams a platform to connect, network and gain support from fellow like-minded students. We envision a platform where students can develop the necessary skills to successfully navigate a science graduate degree.
Leap UofT is a student activist group working for climate justice by localizing the goals of the Leap Manifesto (www.leapmanifesto.org) on campus.
MINING INJUSTICE SOLIDARITY NETWORK
The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) is a Toronto-based activist group that organizes to draw attention to and resist the negligent practices of Canadian mining companies, who comprise over 75% of mining businesses worldwide. In solidarity with affected communities and in response to their calls for support, we:
Educate… the Canadian public on mining injustices in Canada and around the world.
Advocate… for stronger community control of mining practices, and in support of self-determination in mining-affected areas.
Agitate… against corporate impunity and in support of substantive regulatory change.
In the spring, we attend mining company annual general meetings to present statements from impacted communities, while simultaneously holding protests outside challenging the company’s narratives. During the rest of the year, we hold film screenings, educational events, speaking tours and workshops to raise awareness of mining injustice. We also respond to calls from impacted communities for support. This fall, we are launching a research project tracking violence committed by Canadian mining companies around the world. We are looking for long-term volunteers for this project to do research on a particular country. If you are interested in getting involved in any of these activities (or have ideas of your own), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hold new volunteer orientations on a regular basis.
MUSLIMS FOR JUSTICE
PRISONER CORRESPONDENCE PROJECT TORONTO
Prisoner Correspondence Project Toronto is a small collective that coordinates a penpal program, connecting queer, gay and trans people who are in prisons with queer, gay and trans people on the outside. In addition, we coordinate a resource library (which is currently being revamped). Our collective is made up entirely of queer, gay and trans people, with various intersecting identities including racialized, disabled, survivors, working class, and more. While the Montreal collective has been around for longer, the Toronto chapter has been organizing for around 5 years.
We aim to make prisoner justice and prisoner solidarity a priority within queer and trans movements on the outside. This is a project for queer, gay and trans communities both on the inside and the outside. Our hope is that people from these communities benefit from the project by:
SAIA – STUDENTS AGAINST ISRAELI APARTHEID
Who are we?
Students’ Against Israeli Apartheid is a Palestine solidarity network of students, faculty, and community members that works to raise awareness on and off campus about Palestinian struggle for self-determination, Israeli Apartheid, and Canada’s complicity in Israel’s apartheid policies. We support the Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel until it ends its occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, dismantles the wall, gives full and equal rights to Palestinians within Israel and respects the right of return for all Palestinian refugees.
To work towards these goals, SAIA organizes workshops, lectures, actions and film screenings throughout the year, including the International Week Against the Wall, and the annual international conference Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). SAIA also works to challenge U of T’s complicity with Israeli violations of international law through its ongoing divestment campaign.
SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS FUND
SFRJ – STUDENTS FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
Students for Reproductive Justice – Toronto is a student-run group that advocates support for the pro-choice cause and strives to contribute to the protection of reproductive rights. It is our mission to make individuals feel safe and welcome on campus, and combat the distribution of falsified, offensive, and potentially triggering information and images spread by anti-choice groups. This group was formed by pro-choice and feminist students in opposition to the pro-life protests on campus. Follow this page for updates on what you can do to help.
SURJ – SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
SURJ is an international network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through
community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial
majority for justice with passion and accountability. As white people, we are also settlers and visitors to Turtle
Island, and commit to working towards decolonization and indigenous sovereignty. We work to connect people
across Turtle Island while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice and decolonization
organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.
TORONTO QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
TQFF is organized by an ad-hoc collective of artists and arts professionals who came together in 2016 to launch the Toronto Queer Film Festival. We began this project out of an urgent need to provide screen space in Toronto for media by and about marginalized queer and trans people.
We have three primary mandates:
1) to exhibit queer independent and experimental film and video art;
2) to support the production of alternative queer film and video art through community-based arts education and professional development; and
3) to foster community engagement with the arts by welcoming all attendees to our accessible venues with “pay what you can” pricing for events, ASL interpretation, and closed captioning of all programs.
TQFF distinguishes itself from other Toronto cultural events that serve the LGBT community by focusing on experimental time-based media that challenges and expands social, political, and artistic conventions. Our curatorial mandate is to centre the programming of work by and about queer and trans people of colour, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities, as well as the work of local artists, low-income, DIY filmmakers, and emerging artists.
Our foremost goal as an organization is community building: creating space for queer and trans filmmakers and audiences to come together in the spirit of art and activism.
In addition to the annual festival, TQFF offers year round programming, including screenings and workshop intensives.
TQFF is a volunteer-run, artist-centered festival. There are no submission fees for artists, and proceeds from the festival are prioritized to pay artists screening fees at or above the IMAA and CARFAC minimum rates. For more information about TQFF’s perspectives on charging submission fees and the payment of artist fees, please see:
TTC RIDERS ACCESSIBILITY ACTION COMMITTEE
This is a new committee that we’ve set up to make the TTC more accessible for everyone. This committee is in its founding stage. Reports to Campaigns committee. Please contact Bill at worrellbill at gmail.com to get involved.
WOMEN’S COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR A FREE WALLMAPU
The Women’s Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto] is an indigenous Mapuche grassroots organization based in Toronto, Turtle Island.
Our goal is to link the struggles of indigenous sovereignty (specifically the Mapuche Peoples of so-called southern $hile) with that of other indigenous, anti-capitalist/anti-colonial, community based struggles across Turtle Island, by creating awareness through events, protests, publications, etc….
We work to build our communities and solidarity across different struggles in the hope of seeing our Mapuche Territory in liberation.
WOMEN’S HEALTH COLLECTIVE
WHC is a student-run initiative at the University of Toronto that aims to support women’s health and foster a community of empowered women.